Broadband News

Claranet adds Childsafe network filtering option to its Soho products

Claranet has launched a network based filtering system that is optional on their Claranet Soho service. The only other provider to offer this level of protection is TalkTalk, other providers are moving towards offering customers a more Active Choice on filtering.

The new option is called Childsafe, and appears to offer a straightforward non-technical solution for parents who want to apply filters to every device using the Internet connection in a home. There are some 140 categories that can be chosen from, and where parents find a site is blocked by mistake there is an option to allow a site through, or add extra specific sites to the block list. An interesting concept is that of the 'Claranet Guardian' that allows an interest group, such as a school, church or other body to create a channel, this may make it easier for parents to block content that aligns with their personal morals, rather than some anonymous remote categorizing service.

The press release carried details of a survey of 1,000 parents who had children under 16 years old in the home, and 84% when asked believe that the Government should have legal powers to intervene if broadband providers fail to self regulate in this area.

The recent consultation by the Department of Education into content filtering, is still offline, though you can download and submit response forms from the website. Conducting a consultation into an online arena that requires an offline response does not bode well for representing a true cross-section of UK society.

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the industry, is how to inform and educate parents, without actually frightening them away from the internet. One area that has not been explored (that we are aware of) is the area of parents who are aged 18 to 25, who had access to the Internet in their teenage years, and thus are fully aware of the good and bad sides and how they now intend to control their own childrens access to the net.


surely parents should do that job not the Isp? Open DNs will do a pretty decent job of filtering if need be.

ISps doing the filtering is wrong, this is where the so called free internet is not so free and we start being blocked.

oh yes, that have already happened, with Talk Talk, sky and Bt trying to block the pirate bay.

  • zyborg47
  • over 8 years ago

Well it will make for interesting tantrums when teenagers discover they are subjected to the same rules as their youngest sibling. As for church approved internets... How evil! xD

  • fibrebunny
  • over 8 years ago

OpenDNS is hard to implement reliably - BT Home Hubs don't allow trivial changes of DNS server settings and putting it in the network connections on a PC is easily reversed and doesn't catch the smartphones.

  • herdwick
  • over 8 years ago

How many people don't yet know about the magic feature in [browser name withheld] that defeats this stuff with a couple of clicks and no geekery, a feature which cannot sensibly be disabled on PCs where users have admin access to install "unapproved" software?

No I'm not going to describe it here, but it's not real complicated (geekspeak: it works like a poxy but easier to setup and harder for network providers to defeat without them looking very very silly).

  • c_j_
  • over 8 years ago


They'll just circumvent it like any other kid that wants to look at porn.

  • otester
  • over 8 years ago

@c_j_ Are you are by any change referring to the feature that sounds like "singing quickly"?

I don't suppose it's any great secret and yes as it is intended to speed up [mobile] browsing by reducing the amount of traffic used by a device, blocking it would be somewhat self-defeating.

  • prlzx
  • over 8 years ago

please tell me what this magic feature is!!!!

  • nooneatall
  • over 8 years ago

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